How ‘Iron Man 3′ May Help Launch ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 13th, 2014 at 10:02 am,

Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor Art How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

A year and half ago we posed the question of whether or not Marvel Studios was going to delve into the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe after The Avengers. Rumors and reports combined with Easter eggs in the films released up until that point in time – along with certain happenings in Marvel Comics – strongly hinted that Guardians of the Galaxy was on the way, and Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige officially confirmed it at Comic-Con in the summer.

But little did we know that Marvel Studios may go cosmic immediately after The Avengers as fans prepare for Iron Man 3 and the beginning of Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe.

With Thor: The Dark World releasing this fall and promising to explore more of the nine realms and the culture of the many otherworldly Marvel races, it seemed the obvious choice to serve as a lead-in of sorts to next year’s introduction of the space-faring Guardians of the Galaxy, especially since Iron Man 3 promises to be more “grounded.” But moviegoers may actually get their first introduction, or at least a tease, of the Guardians as early as this May when Robert Downey Jr. suits up once again as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark.

What? Why? How?

Rumors from a few months ago have been rekindled thanks to some choice words by Robert Downey Jr. given in an exclusive interview with EW, and combined with the leak of an Iron Man 3 toy image featuring a Deep Space Suit, speculation and sources of Latino-Review lead us to believe Tony Stark will be going into space in Iron Man 3 to meet Earth’s first line of defense. Not only that, but Stark may appear in Guardians of the Galaxy as well.

Let’s examine the five pieces of evidence.

Marvel NOW Guardians of the Galaxy 001Cover 570x864 How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

1. Marvel NOW!

The first and most obvious clue is in the books, with Iron Man joining the Guardians of the Galaxy roster next month. The genius Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning in 2008 (following Annihilation & Annihilation: Conquest) lasted 25 issues before Marvel Comics put an oddly timed end to it in 2010, only to have them show up in Avengers Assemble after The Avengers film hit theaters in the summer. The Guardians of the Galaxy return in February with a new look and some roster changes, highlighted by Tony Stark joining the team for the Marvel NOW! relaunch of the series by Brian Michael Bendis.

Bendis said the following about the new series in a Liveblog Q&A:

“It’s also a great place for you to hop on and see why we’re excited for these characters to be in a movie and why it’s as good a franchise as Marvel has.”

“Iron Man joins the team right from the get go, which is exciting and show that the Guardians are really the cosmic Avengers.”

Why would Tony Stark leave The Avengers and his other Earthly responsibilities to head into space? Bendis explains on

It’s more about that he’s a futurist, and he’s an explorer, and he’s a scientist, and an adventurer. You could certainty see Tony getting to a place in his mind where number one, he needs a vacation more than anyone on the planet. But number two, more like a working vacation, and thinking, you know what, I kind of hit a ceiling with my technology. I want to go out and explore some new stuff and see things from a new perspective, and really look at the Earth from a new perspective, and come back and see if that doesn’t help him break past whatever ceiling he’s hit with his work.And plus, we’re going to have some fun with Tony trying to live out his William Shatner/Captain Kirk space-girl fantasies. So Tony will come out here to be part of the Guardians, to explore the ideas that the Guardians had put in his head during AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, that the Earth is a very important part of the cosmic civilization for the next generation. So Tony literally needs to go out and look at it from their point of view to see what he can do to help. And so he gets to have space adventures, he gets to live the William Shatner/Captain Kirk, he gets to explore, he gets to invent, and Tony gets to see the world from a different perspective.

When Tony’s with the Avengers, he’s always top dog, alpha male, he’s always kind of in charge. Here, he’s going to be a fish way out of water. Even though he’s been to outer space a few times, this is living in outer space, which is a completely different thing. And basically living on a pirate ship!

Perhaps at the end of The Avengers, Tony Stark got more than a look into deep space, but a look into his future and the endless possibilities his technical prowess could open his life to explore. Such a drastic departure for the Iron Man norm would certainly offer a new and unexplored character journey for Robert Downey Jr. to play with, should he choose to lock in long-term with Marvel Studios.


Continue to page 2 for Robert Downey Jr.’s hint and the Iron Man 3 ‘Deep Space Suit’ toy…



iron man main How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

2. Robert Downey Jr.

The next clue came today from part two of a five-part Entertainment Weekly interview with Robert Downey Jr. and is a little more subtle. In addressing the possibility of cameo appearances of Stark’s friends from The Avengers, RDJ answered the question first by explaining that Iron Man 3 needs to acknowledge that this is a post-Avengers world but at the same time find an interesting way to focus on Tony Stark’s personal journey. He followed that up with this:

“But we can’t help it — everywhere you look now in every Marvel movie there are opportunities where certain new pals of his could be useful. So they’re in the atmosphere, so to speak, but I wouldn’t expect to see them on the ground in this one.”

Very choice words in “atmosphere, so to speak” and not seeing “them on the ground.” On its own, it may not be much, but combining with the other evidence and rumors, and knowing RDJ’s tendency to say or tease things he’s not supposed to (see: Avengers premiere), this could be a major hint that he’s referring to Stark’s soon-to-be space friends.


3. The “Deep Space Suit”

Toy manufacturer Funko released some images they weren’t supposed to for their upcoming Iron Man 3 line of tie-in merchandise, including the following image which was suspiciously removed from their site (note: the four other armor designs are all confirmed to be in the film):

[Image removed at the request of Funko]

Now why would Iron Man have a Deep Space Suit, we wonder?

For the normal action figure lines, Iron Man 1 & 2 (and most comic book movie tie-in merchandise) had armor designs and villains not from the actual film, but this isn’t your typical action figure line and seems to be specially designed bobble heads for the actual armor suits from the film.

The armor design depicted in the bobble head pays slight tribute to the first space suit Tony Stark designed in the comics back in 1981 (Iron Man #141), with the chest light taking the same pentagonal shape instead of the circles and triangles we’ve seen in the film armors thus far.


Continue to page 3 for the latest Guardians/Iron Man 3 rumor and another old hint…



The Avengers Movie Artwork How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

4. Kevin Feige’s Hint

In chatting with /Film leading up to the release of The Avengers, Kevin Feige talked about his love of exploring the cosmic side of the Marvel universe, hinting ever so slightly at the possibility of Iron Man in space before Guardians of the Galaxy was even announced:

“I’ve always said that I love and would one day want to explore every aspect of the Marvel universe, with the street level heroes, the fantasy or cosmic with Thor, which really is a cosmic hero, period with Cap, magic some day with Social Supreme and some of those characters. But the Cosmic Universe is a big part of that and I love space movies… That will probably not be in another Iron Man movie, because it doesn’t make much sense. That will not be in another Captain [America] movie. Thor does inhabit a certain part of that world and there are other characters and other properties that we’ve talked a little bit about, but have announced anything yet that will really bare fruit in that arena.”

When Guardians was brought up next, Feige continued:

“That’s where a lot of that will really come to fruition and to me it’s okay and Avengers is the place to mash it all up, because that’s what Avengers is for and you can have Iron Man in outer space. How’s that going to affect him in Iron Man 3 or 4? Well the truth is that’s in there now. (Laughs) He’s seen some shit, but he’s also Tony Stark and can blow a lot of stuff off, so the story of Iron Man 3, as we’ve already talked about, is very insular and very Tony Stark centric as redefined by Shane Black. To me, Thor was a much bigger leap than Avengers. Thor was the one, ‘Are they going to buy this?’ ‘Norse mythology… Intergalactic traveling on beams of light… Are they going to buy it?’ They did and we constructed that whole movie to be about the intro to the worlds, a portal opening in space and aliens coming out seems frankly minor by comparison.”

Iron Man went to space in The Avengers. No big deal now, right?

Iron Man in Guardians of the Galaxy Movie How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

5. The Scoop

According to Latino-Review and their trusted and proven sources – especially when it comes to Guardians of the Galaxy – Tony Stark will leave Earth’s orbit and “hook up”with the Guardians and that come time for the Guardians of the Galaxy film, Stark will also make a small appearance.

Guardians of the Galaxy represents the biggest risk for Marvel Studios to date. Introducing a big budget comic book space opera after the failure of Green Lantern and to do so with an entirely unknown-to-average-moviegoer cast of odd characters which includes a talking warrior raccoon would other be crazy, if it weren’t for the “Avengers Assemble” branding power behind it and the inter-connectivity to the other films. The single, ultimate way to mitigate that risk would be to insert the franchise’s biggest and most important star into it in some capacity.

Either way, expect an announcement this summer of Robert Downey Jr.’s contract extension with Marvel.

Do you buy the space-faring Iron Man possibility? It’s drastically different than the Ant-Man connection rumor.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for all your Marvel movie needs.

Sources: EW, /FilmFunko, Latino-Review, Marvel

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  1. This new rumour of Iron Man cameo in Guardians of Galaxy along with Thanos as Avengers 2 villain only seems to lead Avengers 2 towards an inter-galactic battle climax…which we have already seen in Avengers…not exciting news…


    • @ Anubhav

      Yea you totally know what you’re talking about…

    • avengers had an intergalactic battle but it was kinda stuck in new york. this time around it could actually be up in space and potentially more epic. thats the difference here man.

    • we really didnt see an “inter-galactic battle climax”. Only a galactic battle ON THE STREETS OF NEW York.


    • This is the first time I am seeing the galaxy defined as between 34th and 59th streets.

      Did not know I was Doing intergalactic travel daily for the past 3 years. Awesome.

  2. Pre-Guardians, Pete has a ship named, “Ship” which has an AI. It could be that in the MCU, Tony builds the ship in space. The ship could be some background side project throughout the movie and then after the credits we see some unknown astronaut steal the ship. They don’t have to reveal the astronaut’s face cuz you know, they haven’t cast Pete yet.

    At the end of Thor 2 we can see Thanos come to Earth and blow up a car; Drax then is born.

    • Yeah, Thanos comes to Earth just to blow up a car and then leaves, he is so mischeivess

      • lol well that’s how Arthur Douglas becomes Drax. At the end credits scene for Thor 2, we can have Thanos’ ship enter Earth’s atmosphere to survey the area. We don’t need to see the ship leave Earth or the people in the car. The ship descends to some remote desert area and with one car driving down a lone road. Thanos blows up the car to leave no witnesses. That’s pretty much what happens in the comic book.

        • and he abducts his daughter, then it gets personal…. well kinda he was dead, but things are a little complicated

          • I wonder if they’ll go that deep in the story. I can see Drax believing Thanos killed Moondragon. Then if they make a squeal, they reveal that she is still alive. Or they don’t wait on that and just do that in the upcoming movie.

            If they cast a wrestler for Drax, hopefully it’ll be the dumb Drax. However I’d rather see the smart Drax.

  3. My idea? After Tony dropped the missle off into space and seeing outerspace for all its glory and mystery, he becomes anxious and builds the suit and goes off into space and finds the threat of Thanos and the Guardians

  4. Doesn’t Tony Stark become head of SHIELD?

    • NO, Maria Hill becomes the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the comics of course, but if Sam Jackson is only gonna fulfill his 9 pic deal, He is getting close to that now! unless he signs on for more, but now that they have intro’d MH I assume he is on his last 3 films or so

      • Tony does become director of SHIELD after the Civil War

        • If that becomes true they want to kill Captain America like in civil war story line

  5. Good article. I’m totally on board with Iron Man going cosmic. He’s been to space in Avengers, he’s high tech and his armor is almost a space suit anyway right?

  6. this is the most exciting news YET from Phase 2, this is only gonna get better as we start to see who fills out the cast of GOTG.
    any news on that yet @Rob Keyes?
    This is gonna be EPIC

    • Just the rumors, but surprisingly no casting reports in the last week or so. We’ll find out a ton on Guardians, Cap 2 and X-Men: DOFP very soon as they all enter production soon.

  7. don’t care for Iron Man 3 at all but if it’s going to include something regarding GotG than I’ll def think about looking into it.

  8. in reality, the most this ‘iron man in space’ mongering will amount to is a 1.5 minute post credits scene.

    damn you marvel!

  9. When do you suppose we will see Carol Danvers?

  10. What I gathered from the first Iron Man 3 trailer was that after the events of the Avengers film, Tony feels less significant. He understands that there is a huge world out there he didnt even know about. That there are things that are bigger than him. He questions his existence after looking at the bigger picture. Its put him into a funk where he needs to know what his place in the world is and what else is out there. I think after the events of IM3, maybe in the end credits sequence after some type of tragedy (Happy or Pepper being killed), he decides to journey into outter space and comes across…THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Great article by the way Rob.

    • I honestly could not see him leaving pepper behind in the event that Happy is the “big” death! The ONLY way I see him feeling like he has nothing left here is that pepper either dies or he leaves her because he does not want anything to happen to her and feels he needs to “get away” from the situation and goes to space!
      I have felt that she (pepper potts) was gonna die ever since Gweneth Paltrow said that she was not sure if pepper would appear in Avengers 2! That to me just spelled out peppers death because there is NO way she would leave tony’s side after everything they have been thru, so the best way to get rid of her chacter and a good story line was to have her killed by a bad guy.

    • Stay tuned for more on this. I wouldn’t count on that entirely.

      • I guess you’ve been asking around? :)

  11. And then maybe Avengers 3 will be about rescuing Tony Stark and fighting Thanos! And maybe there’ll be epic space battles between huge fleets of massive capital ships and cruisers firing blue lasers and missiles! Where the eff are the space battles in movies nowadays?!!

  12. Nice article Rob – the evidence approach works for me.
    HOWEVER….I’m pretty sure Kevin Feige didn’t say ‘Social Supreme’. LOL!

    The Eye of Agamotto doesn’t do Facebook!

  13. This seems to all lead up to the Infinity Gauntlet in which all of the Marvel Universe fights Thanos. My favorite comic book of all time of course.

    • not possible though.

      cant include FF, X-Men, ect.

      may be plausiable to have Ultron and Thanos in AV3 fighting The Avengers.


      no spiderman doe.


      Joss talked about rotating the roster for A2. so maybe no Black Window, no Hawkeye, enter Falcon and Ant-Man/Wasp(?).

  14. Well, another factor in favor. The villain in Guardians of the Galaxy is Basil Sandhurst, aks, the Controller. The Controller is an Iron Man villain. Now, it’s possible that they completely revamp the Controller (see the Mandarin).